Clift San Francisco – Vintage Modern Chic Editorial

Clift San Francisco Vintage Modern Wedding Editorial The inspiration for this shoot was nothing short of a personal desire to convey a stylish, intimate elopement for two that was beautiful, plush and romantic. The setting was the cityscape of San Francisco and Clift San Francisco.

Romance in my eyes is timeless, and I tend to gravitate towards looking back in time for inspiration. A time where women were elegant, classy, poised and powerful in their own right,  so I am often intrigued with the women of the 1930’s. 

I feel  romance is timeless, and although times have changed, I also refer to the modern day woman and how she has evolved into a powerful and determined being with her femininity, her beauty, strength, and her knowledge. I also cannot ignore the fact that modern day women long to do things differently and uniquely to who they are as people. Our shoot would embrace all of these things and more! 

I produced a shoot that focused on what the bride wants as opposed to what the bridal industry wants. Wedding planning can be challenging with or without the assistance of a professional, this shoot was inspired by doing things outside of the box and in this case, our story is surrounded by a romantic elopement getaway just for the two lovers with the help of some very talented wedding professionals,  you don’t need a BIG wedding to have a BIG wedding. 

Notes from the Planner/Designer, Carolyn Wilson of Carolyn Wilson Events

When I was approached by Barbara for the production of  a Vintage Glam designed shoot – the immediate thought was to go with the old world feel of the feathers and crystals – but I didn’t want to do what has already been done (or even overdone!) 

I love to mix mediums – whether it is textures, styles, metals, or eras, it’s a challenge I like to take on. So I did! My take on Vintage Glam was to be ‘modern’ in style yet hold onto and support the vintage feel that was also apparent in the space that the shoot was to take place. (Spanish Suite at the Clift Hotel, San Francisco) 

The ‘story’ that evolved was that this was a surprise elopement, planned by the Bride. The bride gave her fiancé a tea stained invitation asking him to meet her for an intimate dinner to celebrate their love, in the Spanish Suite of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. Both the tea stained invitation along with the old world feeling you get as you step into the Spanish suite of the Clift Hotel, SF (deep dark wood, bright silver mirrors, oversized crystal chandeliers) helped set the tone for what was to come that night. 

The overall feel was that she was an old soul –one who cherished reading old love letters from her grandparents and great grandparents. Letters that were weathered yet stood the test of time. 

The setting had a boudoir feeling with numerous sequin throw pillows strewn about the floor, in front of the large fireplace adorned with feminine flowers, pearls and acrylic candelabras, and a fireplace filled with a wrought iron candle insert and lanterns with candles lit all around. 

Use of sequin linen on the sweetheart dinner table was to incorporate the modern times that they are living in, along with the clear acrylic ghost chairs that were decorated with more floral and pearls accents. 

The floral design provided an elegant, intimate, ‘wedding’ feel without it portraying a typical wedding ceremony or reception. Almost a feeling of what you would find when you walked into an older home set in the 1930’s. The floral design incorporated gold leaves; draping pearls amongst modern black and clear acrylic and glass candelabras; mirrored and pearl encrusted vases tied the floral and mixed metal feeling all together. 

The cake is adorned with a hand piped lattice style floral ‘cap’ that was also hand piped onto the side of the cake, in a gold luster. Black martini glasses were placed at the cake table to hold an extra dirty martini for the couple to share – just before the first slice of sweet cake that was to be enjoyed at the evening’s finale. The overall look came together – not too vintage, and not too modern – but a perfect balance of both! 

Colors: Coppers, Browns, Silvers, Black, White/Off White

Textures: Mixed metals and materials (mixing the ‘old vintage feel’ with a new ‘modern’ spin) including sequins, pearls, furs, glass, mirrors, paper and metals

Mood: Strong yet feminine (strong ‘masculine’ colors accented with feminine touches like pearls, flowers, candles and pillows)










“a girl should be two things, classy and fabulous!” – CoCo Chanel

Venue: The Clift Hotel SF 

Planner/Designer: Carolyn Wilson of Carolyn Wilson Events 

Floral Designs: Tanjeeryn Designs 

Couture Gown: (Designed and created for this production) VioGemini Designs 

Stationery/Calligraphy: Monks of Age Calligraphy 

Rentals: Hartmann Studios 

Cake: Bicyclette of SF 

Jewelry: Josie Adele 

Hair/Makeup: Teresa Reynolds 

Model: Mary Rosenberger – Ford Models, Los Angeles, Look – SF 

Producer/Director of Photography: Barbara Jacqueline 

Behind the Scenes Video: WinterWish Studios 


Wayne Capili – Set Aerial Shots

Cindy Lane Pedracci – Grip

Alex Barranco – Design and Setup Assistant

Wayne Yasuhara – Set Assistant